Desktop Premier Comparison and Review



Desktop Premier Review

This version is great for:

  • Small businesses that need the ability to do just about anything with their bookkeeping software except access their books online
  • Anyone who wants all of the bookkeeping features of QuickBooks Pro, plus the ability to forecast sales and expenses, create a business plan, and use industry-specific reports, accounts, menus, and charts
  • Business owners who have some experience with QuickBooks or plan on hiring someone to help set up their books
  • (Online access is not available for and Desktop or Desktop Plus Software. If mobility is important, try one of the QuickBooks Online products)

Conclusion:

QuickBooks Desktop Premier is one of the most extensive QuickBooks products offered by Intuit. This bookkeeping software is truly all a small business could ask for with its robust feature set, including more than 150 detailed reports, industry-specific files, menus, and accounts and the ability to create sales and expense forecasts and business plans. An advantage of this software over the Online versions is that the Desktop versions will save a local copy of your business’ financials on your hard drive, which users will find incredibly useful if their Internet connection gets disrupted or the Intuit website goes offline (which happens on rare occasions).

2016 Product UpdatesQuickbooks Premier offers a few new features and improvements in their 2016 edition.  One new feature is a "Bill Tracker" that provides an information summary for all the company's purchase orders and bills. For people that frequently have the "email later" flag on transactions that they never intend to email, QuickBooks has added the ability to remove some or all of these pending emails with one click. QuickBooks has also added an extremely useful "fiscal year-to-last month" date option for reports, which many people will find more useful than the "fiscal year-to-date" option. QuickBooks 2016 has also improved compatibility between QuickBooks Statement Writer and Microsoft Office 2013, so the patch that was required for previous versions is no longer necessary. The company has of course also added a number of other small improvements and bug fixes, but these are the primary changes.

2015 Product Updates: The new Homepage Insights (replacing the "Company Snapshot") gives you an easy way to view your main financial indicators like profit and loss, income and expenses, and top customers. Quickbooks Premier has also made improvements to their reporting formats, customization, commenting and sharing options. For people who use the Intuit Payment Network, the 2015 Quickbooks software isn't currently compatible- this is apparently being worked on, but the solution hasn't been released.

New QuickBooks Features: QuickBooks Desktop software now lets you see invoices, billing dates, and other scheduled tasks in an integrated calendar view. They have also added the Document Center which will let you scan and attach receipts, estimates, and other documents to invoices and customer files. Another addition is the Lead Center that allows you to manage valuable business leads and, once they become a customer, transfer them easily into the Customer Center with a single click. Also with this new release, all Desktop software comes with Industry-specific report templates created by other QuickBooks users that you can populate with your own financial data in one click of the mouse. Keeping your exported reports in Excel up-to-date has been made easier as well. By connecting these files with your QuickBooks software, all you have to do is refresh the Excel file and your reports are automatically updated every time you need it. A few more additions to the QuickBooks software are covered in our detailed review.

Ease of Use

QuickBooks Desktop Premier received 4 stars for Ease of Use.

Setting Up Your Books: QuickBooks Desktop software, in general, is more difficult to set up than the Online versions. However, with a purchase of the software you are given one-hour of setup assistance with a QuickBooks support agent, an initial setup guide, and interface guidance tools, such as a searchable help database and question and answer forum. The Premier software can import your financial and accounting data from Quicken, Peachtree, and Microsoft Office Accounting. The Desktop software can also import customer information and other contact data easily from any QuickBooks for Windows software, Excel, Outlook, Gmail, and Yahoo Mail. An advantage of Premier over the other QuickBooks software is that it lets you view your past bank reconciliations so if you are upgrading from Pro, all of the reconciliations you performed within the Pro software will be accessible after the transition.

Day-to-Day Operations: QuickBooks Desktop Premier is easy to use along with your daily business activities. This version does not include online or mobile access, but it can be added for an additional $9.95 per month with QuickBooks Connect. This add-on gives users access to essential QuickBooks customer and transaction data online from any computer with Internet access, but not complete access to your books like the Online software. This version also allows you to import your bank and credit card transactions into QuickBooks, an important feature because it dramatically reduces the time required to record and categorize expenses and deposits. Premier’s interface is easy to navigate as flow charts are categorized into your Vendors, Customers, and Employees. There are arrows representing a general flow of money and time, which give a quick visualization of the state of your business. The interface provides “nodes” that act as quick links to different parts of the software, such as invoices, time entry, estimates, statements, bills, sales orders, etc. 

With QuickBooks Desktop Premier, all information is stored on your local machine. Unlike the Online and Desktop Plus versions, this software does not include online backup. However, for an additional $4.95 per month QuickBooks will automatically save your bookkeeping data (up to 5 GB) every day. This can be a life saver because if you lose the local copy of your financial information, all of your files will be saved on QuickBooks’ remote servers. If you pay $24.95 per month for the QuickBooks Connect bundle, you will get online backup as well as online and mobile access with the QuickBooks Connect app, and 24/7 customer support.

Managerial Features: Customer Invoices, Estimates & Budgeting

Desktop Premier has the most complete set of Managerial Features of any QuickBooks version. QuickBooks can create invoices for whatever business you operate, including traditional retailers that need to include sales tax, contractors providing a service that invoice customers based on time and expenses, and anything in between. You can easily create invoices by entering your customer’s name, the products or services you’re invoicing, sales tax, and a personalized message all on one page. Desktop Premier also allows you to schedule invoices to be sent out automatically and periodically. With this software, you can print and email invoices directly from the interface. This version also allows you to track sales by the quantity of items sold or the total revenue generated by sales of a particular item as well as by class. Assigning a “class” to a transaction allows you to separate them based on their importance or function. Through the software, you can also create an estimate for a customer for work that is going to be done in the future.

Unlike any of the Online versions, Desktop Premier lets you create batch invoices so that you can invoice multiple customers who share regularly scheduled expenses all at once. In addition, this version will give you the ability to track international sales and expenses in multiple currencies. This software allows you to create a budget and compare actual income and expense activity with budget projections. Desktop Premier can even forecast sales and expenses, as well as easily allow you to create a business plan. This version also includes specific files, menus, and accounts tailored to your industry.

QuickBooks provides an add-on to manage your payroll for an unlimited number of employees for an additional $279.96 per year or $28 per month when paired with the purchase of either QuickBooks Pro or Premier. There are also various other payroll services that can integrate with QuickBooks software. You can accept credit and debit cards with QuickBooks if you apply for a Merchant Account through Intuit Payment Solutions. Your first two months are free, after which a $19.95 monthly fee is charged.

 

Reporting

QuickBooks Desktop Premier provides an extensive collection of more than 150 types of financial, sales, and tax reports. Desktop Premier even includes industry-specific reports with specially tailored features that include accounts receivable aging, profit versus loss, and reconciliation reports. Like the Online Essentials and Online Plus software, Desktop Premier includes a Company Snapshot that summarizes profit, expenses, revenue, transactions, previous period information, outstanding bills, outstanding money owed, etc. With any of the QuickBooks software you can create custom reports by adding to or editing the report templates.

Desktop Premier also includes inventory reports to help you better plan future purchases, which is not built in to any of the QuickBooks Online versions. In addition, this version gives you access to a Customer Snapshot that allows you to view your customers’ purchase history, average days to pay, and outstanding balances at a glance.

Tracking Payments to Vendors & Inventory

QuickBooks allows you to set up a vendor list where you can easily enter in bills as you receive them and create vendors as-you-go. In addition, this version gives you the ability to view and pay all current bills. You can set up a schedule to automatically pay bills as they come in or delay bill payment to a different time than when you record them. You can also create customized purchase orders by vendor, itemized goods, and services, as well as add notes and view purchase history. If you use contractors, you will need to send them a 1099 tax form, which you can do with this QuickBooks version.

Unlike the QuickBooks Online versions, Desktop Premier includes an inventory management system that allows you to designate levels of inventory that will alert you to reorder each product. With the QuickBooks Desktop software you can batch invoice multiple vendor and employee time sheets for those who share the same work hours. In addition to this, the  software lets you run automatically recurring transactions like bills and invoices, and customize the schedule to fit your needs.

Online Banking

QuickBooks provides bank account reconciliation, which means they go through every transaction in your bank account and make sure the information you have in your software matches. The software also allows you to print checks by letting you fill out the onscreen withdrawal form and selecting Print. QuickBooks offers in-depth deposit records that provide details, such as who made a deposit, which account a deposit went to, and the payment method used. The software allows you to view histories of credit card expenses, check expenses and cash expenses across all your accounts, as well as view each of these expenses by transaction.

Pricing and Support

QuickBooks Desktop Premier retails for $499.95 for a single-user license, but it's currently available for $349.95, and includes a 60-day money-back guarantee. Additional user licenses can be purchased for $230 each and five user licenses can be linked together under the same account. You can use these user licenses to monitor usage and set different permission levels for individuals in your organization.

Desktop Premier charges an extra fee of $299.95 per year or $89.95 for three months for access to their 24/7 U.S.-based phone and email customer support. QuickBooks does not currently provide live chat technical support for Desktop Premier, but they do offer sales live chat support. QuickBooks’ searchable FAQ section is helpful as it provides a list of relevant topics when a user enters a query. Intuit also provides many user forum categories such as QuickBooks Tasks, Intuit Products, Intuit Resources, Intuit Payroll, and more, which we found very helpful.

Pricing

Price

$499.95 $349.95

Number of User Accounts

1

Free Trial

No, but

General Features

Ease of Use

Unlimited Customer Support

$299.95

Online Access

N/A

Permission Controls

Edit Your Books Offline

Prints Checks

Uploads Bank Files

Helps Create Tax Forms

Managerial Features

Rating

Complete

Creates Invoices

Automated Invoicing

Tracks Inventory

Creates Estimates

Manages Bills

Bills Your Customers

Creates Purchase Orders

Helps Create Budgets

Forecasts Sales and Expenses

Reports

Number of Reports

150

"Company Snapshot"

"Company Scorecard"

Industry-Specific Reports


Desktop Premier Screenshots
(Click Thumbnails for Larger Images)

Desktop Premier: Home

Desktop Premier: Invoice

Desktop Premier: Reports

Desktop Premier: Vendors

Desktop Premier: Banking